English teacher cancels Saturday morning class

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By TIANTIAN XIANGSHANG
Education Correspondent

Cooter, 33, pictured at a wine-tasting event

BEIJING (China Daily Show) — An English teacher at Beijing’s No. 6 University of Horticulture & HVAC Repair called administrators Sunday to inform them that  “yesterday’s Saturday morning class has been canceled.”

Earl Cooter, 33, of Delberville, Mississippi, had apparently agreed to teach the class earlier that week during a casual conversation with Zhao Wei, class assistant of Mike Harris, the regular Saturday morning English teacher, who had fallen ill with a severe case of dumpling poisoning.

“Because of the sick, so he agreed to do it,” said Ms. Zhao in a phone interview with China Daily Show.

But when 35 eager learners showed up for class on Saturday at 7:20am with their assigned essays on “Carnal Sadism” in hand, Cooter was inexplicably absent.

Sophomore Li Ping, 19, who had obtained Cooter’s mobile number earlier in the semester for proposed cultural exchanges, gave him a call and reported hearing a woman’s voice on the other line, whom Li described as “Mongolian-sounding.”

Witnesses reported seeing a disheveled Cooter on Friday night staggering away from Sanlitun, a Beijing nightlife area popular with foreigners, beer bottle in one hand and a “mannish strumpet” in the other, according to fellow educator Carl Wade, 28.

A China Daily Show correspondent visited Cooter’s apartment Sunday evening, where the door was promptly slammed in his face. “Shit, I thought you were the pizza guy,” Cooter told our reporter, scrambling to wrap a qipao-style nightgown around his exposed torso and dangling participle. “What the hell do you want? Please just go away,” he said, responding to further questions from behind his apartment door.

Concerned about Cooter’s safety and harmony, university authorities have opened a joint investigation with the U.S. embassy in Beijing into Cooter’s background and astrological predispositions.

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